Andy and I have not talked about this on social media, and only a few friends and family knew that John was cut from his 2018 baseball team. John was the youngest on the team by far and, because of that, he is eligible to play 10U again for 2019. The Shockers asked for a commitment for 2019, and we gave it despite our thoughts that maybe we should look for another team. All the coaches were insistent that they wanted John back for 2019, so we eventually gave our commitment. That proved to be a mistake. Unfortunately, John was cut in November when it is largely too late to find another team as rosters are often set in June/July for the next year’s season. We have been through all the emotions with this, but anger and disappointment were at the forefront. We wish that the team manager just would have been honest with us before asking for a commitment. We would have found another team, and it would not have been a problem. To cut John like it was done was just a classless move.
After some of the anger subsided, I decided to put a “looking for a team” notice on the online bulletin board of a local baseball organization. A month went by with no contacts, and I assumed it was a fruitless endeavor. Then, the phone call from an interested coach came on Tuesday. He was looking to add two more players to the Mid-MO Stars and had seen the notice. He asked all the “right” questions, and I filled him in on the situation and what had happened. We set up a tryout for John for Thursday evening.
At the tryout, John met all three coaches and four of the boys. There was also a family there, and we chatted with them while watching the tryout. John was nervous (and Andy and I were nervous for him), but he stepped up, tried hard, and impressed the coaches.
Andy and I were also impressed with the coaches. I know that it was a tryout and John got a lot of extra time with them, but I think he got more coaching in that 60 minutes than he got all of last year. John learned a lot about why you do certain things (that was never explained to him in the past), and we learned a lot about his batting stance. He struggled at the plate, but this team of coaches knew exactly what needs to be fixed and also how to fix it. With just some minor adjustments, John was already hitting better by the end of the tryout.
Before we left, the head coach told us that he really liked what he saw and told us that John has the potential to be really good. He also mentioned that John has “God-given, natural talent” and power, and he can’t coach that into a kid. We left feeling positive and cautiously optimistic, and John was excited. We talked as a family for a bit and asked John what he wanted. He did not hesitate. He wanted to be a Mid-MO Star.
The phone call came today, and I immediately said yes. We have a Mid-MO Star. John was so excited when I told him that he was jumping up and down. Sometimes, when one door closes, another one opens. There will be a lot of batting practice in his future as the coaches work on his mechanics, but we are excited for what the future will bring. We are proud of you, John Buddy, for bouncing back! Way to go!